Guest commentary in response to the article New Controller’s Office Report Overstates Level of IHSS Overpayments to ‘Deceased Persons’ that ran on PublicCEO on Feb. 4.

Unless a Provider of I.H.S.S. services actually forges a time sheet due to not reporting that their recipient died, there is no way a Provider can be paid for services to a dead person.

Every two weeks, here in Yolo County of California, the Provider must bring a fresh time sheet to the recipient to be signed and dated by BOTH of them.

Without the signature of the recipient, the Provider will not be paid. If a time sheet is turned in without the recipient’s signature, it is returned to the Provider with a note that they need to obtain the signature of the recipient.

Obviously, if the recipient has died, they will not be able to sign.

Therefore, again, this supposed ‘fraud’ could be traced to forged signatures.

With the level of scrutiny going on at least here in Yolo County, there is no way I can think of that one could defraud the state of monies unless the usually A-type personalities who nitpick at every six minute bracket of time and what actual work is being done during each six minute segment, suddenly turn sloppy and decide to ignore signatures.

One other possible, though bizzarre, scenario would be an inside job where county workers are cheating and making sure that their own personal friends who happen to work as Providers get paid for work they aren’t doing. Most Providers I have met do not know county workers before going to work for I.H.S.S. and really don’t know them even after being hired on by a recipient.

One last scenario, the worst in my opinion, would be cases of identity theft of dead people, where a Provider has stolen a deceased person’s identity for the primary purpose of laying claim to funds that aren’t theirs for work they haven’t done. In that case, this should be prosecuted on an individual, case by case basis.

While any of the above may be true, the tiny fraction of actual fraud compared to what the State is claiming is fraud, has become par for the course these days.

I am sick and tired of the State finding new and creative ways to make those who already suffer, suffer more. I personally would be beyond angry if my worker did not get paid for helping me because some computer far from this county spits out the wrong information due to ‘guess work’ on what the population ‘should’ be.

I am not dead. And I do not want my hard working, caring, kind and compassionate Provider to become homeless. However, it does seem to me that the State of California is determined to kill off as many working class, seniors, and disabled people as possible. And it bothers me immensely.

If that thought doesn’t bother you, you have no conscience and no moral fiber, in my opinion.